Adjusting Ribbon Lift on Hermes Rocket & Baby & Empire Aristocrat

Weapon of Choice: “Monster Scouts Field Typewriter Mark 1” 1956 Empire Aristocrat #S2/268670
Typewriter Club LIVE – Sep 26, 2021

The Hermes Baby and Rocket Typewriter Repair Bible [Printed, Coil-Bound Book] [PDF]

The Service Manual covers the Left-Hand lift Bichrome mechanism, but my Aristocrat is a Right-hand single-color lift mechanism. Arrows point to the relevant parts for the ribbon lift, coming down from the Universal Bar.

Yup, I have to push the ribbon lift down to see the underscore. Needs adjusted.

Mis-spoke here, the Baby actually started with Right-hand Lift in 1936, but switched to Left-hand lift in 1940, then back to Right-Hand lift in 1954 and back to Left-Hand in 1960. Mysteriouser and mysteriouser.

On the right-hand lift machines, there are three links actuated by the Universal bar/comb. The first one on the inside controls the ribbon lift, and you would form the bend on this linkage a little flatter to bring the lift down, or sharper to bring the lift up. Note the sticky-back felt I’ve applied to the back surface of the U-Bar comb – this is a mod discovered by Rick Van Krugel on the Facebook groups, and it deadens the little high-pitched ring that this comb produces when typing.

There we are. Maybe not a full millimeter, but at least I can see the underline strike and I’m in no danger of overshooting the top of the ribbon.

Updated: September 28, 2021 — 12:28 am


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  1. Ah, You’ve hit on something. I need to dig out my Rocket (Baby). I have the manual, but never looked for the ribbon lift adjustment.

  2. Good stuff! Once again I’m reminded of just how much you do for the typewriter community. I love it when this sort of information is documented and shared with all and certainly appreciate the effort made here on your part. If not Luke, then others are sure to benefit from it. I would be doing good simply to get back to the task of documenting the remaining machines that I’ve yet to add to the TWDB.

    1. Would love to have the rest of your machines represented. We find out stuff like “what years have which lift” when there’s enough machines represented in the galleries with good photos, properly dated. I line ’em all up by date and look for the relevant features, and answers emerge! :D

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